October 24-25: Visit a series of museums in Washington DC
October 24, 2001: The Phillips Collection
Last evening, Mr. Tsukamoto returned to the apartment earlier than we had expected. He was very anxious about our travel in Germany, because he couldn't read my E-mail Sent from Germany. We are very sorry to him.
He kindly suggested me to visit museums in DC. Today, we visited The Phillips Collection at 1600 21st Street, NW. The wonderful museum is located in a quiet residential area. As the Museum opened free today, there were many visitors. I could see many wonderful collections in there. After the museum, we visited a department store in the center of DC.
October 25, 2001: Freer Gallery of Art in Smithsonian Complex
As I was quite fascinated with Phillips Collection yesterday, I again headed to another museum recommended by Mr. Tsukamoto, Freer Gallery of Art. The museum was also recommended strongly to visit by Mr. Kuboki, one of my close friends in Oita. He sent me an E-mail not to miss the museum. I got on a subway from Foggy Bottom station surrounded with beautiful autumnal color.
Just getting out of the exit at Smithsonian station, I found the museum before my nose.
The Museum is a part of Smithsonian Complex. Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), a Detroit steel businessman. It is really impressive to know that all the museums in Smithsonian are of admission free. Everybody can easily enjoy anytime the first-class great arts of the country. This means the culture will become more sophisticated in the long view.
This is one of the cores of the museum, Whistler's Peacock Room. The Room was originally designed as a dinning room using gold and blue colors. In the center of the luxurious room, a painting by James McNaill Whistler (1834-1903) called The Princess from the land of Porcelain (1864) occupies a place of honor above the fireplace.
Freer features its great collection of Oriental arts, including Chinese and many other Asian masterpieces.
Beautiful works of ceramic art from China, Korea, and Japan are everywhere in the museum.
Japanese folding screens by Soutatsu Tawaraya's Fan pattern, and Kourin Ogata's Crane designed screen.
I found an unusual contemporary work by a Chinese artist. A personal computer translates what was put in English characters into Chinese characters. This is a result from the characters of "mieko."
The collection itself is great, not to say much, of course. At the same time the buildings that contain such great works are also beautiful. I look out through the patio of Freer Gallery. I was really fascinated by the beauty of the building founded and donated by a businessman.
This is the headquarters of Smithsonian.
The sky is really beautiful today. You can see the unique design of quadrangular pyramid roof from this point.
The Capitol Hill shines white in the east and Washington Memorial soars high in the west.
I took lunch today in a luxurious room in Smithsonian Headquarters building. There are many nameplates that contributed their powers to build the Headquarters. I realized that the Smithsonian Institute is maintained by many people's dedications.
In the afternoon, we came up to Washington zoo by subway. The zoo is a part of Smithsonian and the admission fee was free as well. There are many families in the park. We had no time to look the entire zoo, as it was so big. This is the main entrance.
Panda always attracts many visitors. A spacious playfield is equipped with bush bamboo and lawn. A mist spray was giving the moisture on the ground. It was hard to snap the panda.
The park is also shining in the beautiful autumnal color.
Halloween ornaments such as skeletons in the bush and ghost hanging down from the ceiling will make kids enjoy soon.
Elephant, leopard, camel, lovely prairie dog, and somewhat eerie reptiles make me pleasant today. I could enjoy a zoo after a long time.
We visited many today and got tired a little. I still have many places to go in remaining couple of days.